• Reuters

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The government has told the United States that Tokyo will not, at the moment, participate in Washington’s plan to exclude Chinese firms from telecommunications networks, the Yomiuri newspaper reported Friday, citing several sources.

While Tokyo will cooperate with the United States, Japan will take its own steps to respond in cases where there is concern over security issues, the paper said.

The U.S. State Department published in August an update of a plan called the “Clean Network” calling for telecom companies, cloud service providers and mobile apps of Chinese origin to be kept out of the United States.

The United States is also pressing allies to bar Huawei from next generation 5G mobile phone networks on security grounds.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned the “Clean Network” plan when he met Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Tokyo earlier this month, according to the Yomiuri report.

Japan told the United States that Tokyo could not join a framework that excludes a specific nation, but will reconsider if there is any change to the current U.S. plan, the report said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, the top government spokesman, responded to the Yomiuri report by saying his understanding was that there had been no exchange of views on the “Clean Network” plan during the meeting between Pompeo and Motegi, and that the U.S. had just explained its overall cybersecurity efforts.

“Our nation wants to continue to strengthen cooperation in the area of cybersecurity with the U.S.” Kato said during a news conference Friday.

Japan will also take steps to secure cybersecurity safety by reducing supply chain risks when procuring information and communication equipment, he said.

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